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The purpose of this study was to identify racial differences in physical activity (PA), fitness, and BMI in female 8th-grade sports participants and nonparticipants. Girls from 31 South Carolina middle schools (N=1,903, 48% White; mean age=13.6 ± 0.63) reported PA and previous year sports-team participation, completed a submaximal fitness test, and had height and weight measured. Sports team participation was positively associated with PA and negatively associated with television viewing and BMI, in a dose-response manner. Compared with Whites, African-Americans reported less PA and more television viewing, and had greater BMI scores. Whereas PA intervention programs that incorporate a sports-team component could benefit all girls, African-American girls could be specifically targeted because of their lower physical activity.


Sirard, J. R., Pfeiffer, K. A., Dowda, M., & Pate, R. R. (2008). Race differences in activity, fitness, and BMI in female eighth graders categorized by sports participation status. Pediatric Exercise Science, 20(2), 198-210.

© Pediatric Exercise Science, 2008, Human Kinetics

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